Thursday, November 20, 2008

Random Bits from an Outdoor Ed Director's Office

Things found in my office, following crazy-busy summer and fall seasons...

  • Rubber chicken
  • Various short (and some not-so-short) bits of 'dead' climbing rope
  • The skin (and fur) of an eastern coyote
  • Slinky
  • Defective steel carabiners (still waiting to be sent to manufacturer)
  • Lots of warm clothing
  • Slightly smashed wasp in identifying jar (left over from summer - "do you know what this is??")
  • 29" auger drill bit
  • Large box of galvanized nails
  • Recurve bow (belonging to co-worker)
  • Hand-made shark fin for shark costume (consisting solely of corrugated cardboard and duct tape)
  • "Herbal Armor" bug repellent (still sitting on desk, despite current 30 degree weather)

I won't get into the loads of paper and books scattered all over, but at least I have time to clean up now...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Help!! I've just become a Minivan-driving Soccer Mom!!

I think that if I checked in with myself 15 years ago, I would have sworn this would never happen to me (of course, I was convinced I wasn't going to have kids until I met Obo)... but it's true: I signed R. up for soccer (he starts in April), and we just bought a minivan. I swear I was like, 18, just a year or two ago!

I keep looking at that phrase - "minivan-driving soccer mom" and am still so convinced that it doesn't apply to me. I know who that woman is - or should be in my mind - and I don't look or feel anything like her! (perhaps all women go though this denial phase when they join the ranks?) I remember feeling something like this after R. was born; I'd see myself putting our little baby in his car seat and loading him into the car and think, "this can't be me, I'm WAY too young to have a kid!". And then I'd remember that I'm in my early 30's (then) and yes, this was in fact me, loading a baby into a car. And now the baby is a pre-schooler (signed up for soccer!) and we're trying to have another and wanted a newer family-sized car... Oh, I know! I can blame this all on the dog - if we didn't have a dog we could use the extra space for gear and.... no, that doesn't work. Never mind. I'm sure I'll get used to my new ride eventually.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Bear Tracking

My Grandmother passed away this Thursday - the day before Samhain, appropriately enough. It was a good opportunity to introduce R. to why we celebrate Samhain and what it means... even if it made for a more melancholy holiday weekend (and birthday, if you're born on Samhain).

As a result we've been traveling the past few days to spend time with my side of the family, and went to go see Dad who was up in the Catskills. They had gotten over a foot of snow last week, and a fair amount of it was (is) still around. This morning, Thelma mentioned to me that there were tracks on the side yard which she and Dad thought were bear - so of course I had to go look... even though they had been pretty fresh the day before, there is so much melting going on that there were hardly any details left to the tracks. But given the overall gist, combined with the general size and stride of the prints, there was no doubt that they were bear tracks. I took some pictures which Thelma will hopefully email along soon (didn't bring our camera with us) so I can post them - these are the first bear track photos I've gotten... we did some backtracking, but the prints disappeared (along with the snow) under some hemlocks at the front edge of the property and we could only follow them so far (and I was SO not dressed for tracking... we had only gone for the night, and left today for the Berkshires to see Aunt L. and Uncle W. today - which is where I'm writing this).

This reminds me that I was supposed to attend a tracking conference on Saturday, which I obviously missed due to family concerns. Bummer - I hope they'll have one next year... I'll have to be sure to attend a Walnut Hill program this winter; with any luck there will be one before my own tracking class down at the Y in February...